Friday, July 20, 2007

Hot and Dry, Dry, Dry in the West

It's unseasonably hot and dry in Wyoming and everyone is trying to stay cool. Air conditioning is almost unheard of here, but it won't be long until AC is big business if this drought continues many more years. Worse still, the fire danger is extreme. It reminds me of the weather here in 1988, my second year as a homeowner, when the great fires of Yellowstone became international news. These fires came within only five miles of my cabin in the woods and required numerous evacuations. It was a wild time.

But so far, no great fires have broken out here, though it wouldn't surprise anyone if an inferno started at any time. Afternoon Chinook winds lash this dry valley almost every day. If accompanied by dry lightning, then anything could happen.

When I'm not headed to the river, I get out and exercise in the early cool of the morning, after a strong cup of black coffee and 4-5 tall glasses of water. Staying hydrated and protected from the sun is not optional.

But (and I know it's a bore) is it global warming or just a normal trend?

No! says Cheyenne meteorologist Don Day today in the Casper Star Tribune.

"Wyoming traditionally sees its warmest weather between mid-July and mid-August and a spell like this is not unusual. Short periods of warm weather offer no more evidence of global warming than brief periods of extreme cold portend a new ice age. We had the second coldest January on record this year in Laramie."

Whatever the cause, we're all praying for rain and soon. It will be a blessed relief when it comes.

No comments: